Opportunity or not? Only you can be the judge of that one (that said, there's nothing wrong with a bit of old fashioned flattery)...
You're receiving this as one of the frighteningly talented few thousand who've applied to be part of 4Talent's big projects over the last year - like Radio HaHa, the Inspiration Sessions, A Pitch In Time at the Screenwriters Festival, the Mobile Games Pitch at the Golden Joysticks, and of course the 4Talent Awards.
You've had all of these amazing opportunities for free: now we'd like to run an idea past you.
As you may have read in our festive farewell message, for all manner of reasons - not least the credit crunch - Channel 4 can no longer afford to fund what we do. But they ARE prepared to endorse a juicy, brand-new resource (working title: Not From Concentrate) that continues all this good stuff in the commercial marketplace, helping you to flex your creative muscles in response to specific industry briefs and make proper links with all the major UK broadcasters and production companies, from start-ups to super-indies.
Within Channel 4, the 4Talent brand will continue as an entry point to great commissioning-led schemes like 3 Minute Wonder, Comedy Lab, Coming Up and First Cut, as well as work-related-learning schemes for 14 to 19-year-olds keen to break into the media.
But we reckon that still leaves a huge gap for all you market-ready innovators and ideas people who we've had the pleasure of working with over the years. We know there are some great ideas out there; refreshing ideas that buck the re-hashing trend of so many broadcasters and publishers. We've seen what you can come up with, and we want to continue linking you to industry players to realise your creative ambitions across all possible platforms.
One question remains about this brave new world: without the 'luxury' of [minimal!] funding from Channel 4 for such a resource, we'd have to generate revenue and amongst other things we're thinking about - wait for it - user subscriptions.
For those of you still reading this, let us explain. In a nutshell, we want to build an exclusive club for genuinely talented, dedicated people who are still off the mainstream radar, NOT a free-for-all destination for reality TV wannabes and media fame-seekers. Like any business - and that's what this has to be, of course - this comes at a price, and we're considering an annual subscription charge of £49 or, put another way, less than a quid per week. For that, you'd get:
* Premium multimedia editorial packed with industry insights
* A beautiful 100-page magazine sent direct to your doorstep
* Regular, real-world creative briefs to respond to
* A space to share knowledge and connect with like-minded peers
* A destination for your unsolicited, back-of-a-fag-packet ideas
* Online mentoring and feedback to develop those ideas
* Networking events and workshops with the best in the business
But we can't do any of this without you guys on board, so please drop us a line back with your thoughts or questions, and be as frank as you like. Not abusive though - just frank will do!
Thanks peeps - hear from you soon.
James [Estill] and Nick [Carson]
Former Producer and Editor, 4Talent Networks